Cash continues to remain relevant in a South African context


Cash continues to command the “share of wallet” when it comes to specific payments that South African consumers make on a day-to-day basis. While digital payment options continue to garner traction, it seems for now, cash continues to be the preferred payment method. Let us review a few of these cases:

  1. Toll Road Payments
    70% of toll road users prefer to use cash when paying their toll fee. In some cases the toll fee is as low as R18.00, and toll users felt more comfortable paying with cash than swiping their credit card.
  2. Shopping Mall Parking Payments
    At most South African shopping malls consumers are required to pay for their parking. 68% of users stated that they preferred to pay their parking fee with cash as opposed to credit card.
  3. Road-Side Parking
    In certain cities in South Africa, paying for road-side parking is fast becoming the norm. The cost of parking can vary between as low as R8.00 to as much as R28.00. More than 72% of South Africans preferred to pay using cash even though there are other payment options such as Snap Scan available.
  4. Car Guard Payments
    Unique to South Africa, paying a fellow South African to guard your car has now become an employment opportunity. There is no set cost in place which you are required to pay but rather a “pay-as-you-feel-is-fair” policy is applied. In this instance the only form of payment available to you is cash as the car guards do not have a digital payment option as an alternative.

These four examples above are often looked over and ignored when conversations are had to go cash-less. Particularly in South Africa which has a unique landscape, the option to go cash-less is going to exclude millions of people who rely on cash to earn an income. Quiet simply, there are still instances where digital cannot replace cash.